A helmet and football from Class of 2011 enshrinee arrived in Canton, less than two months before his enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Sanders is the first long-time member of the to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. As such, he sent a helmet he wore during his time with the team as well as a game ball he was presented with during the 1990 season.
Sanders was drafted in the first round, fifth overall, in 1989
by Atlanta. He starred for the Falcons through the 1993 season before playing with the San Francisco 49ers
, Dallas Cowboys
, Washington Redskins
, and Baltimore Ravens
Aside from the helmet he wore with Atlanta, Sanders also sent the ball that he was given during his second NFL season. Sanders returned a punt 79 yards for a touchdown in the Falcons' 38-17 win over the Cincinnati Bengals
on October 28, 1990. The return came on the Bengals only punt during the Sunday night matchup in Atlanta and Sanders' return was the longest in franchise history. It remains a Falcons record today.
"We're so pleased that Deion has sent his helmet and football. It's a great way for fans visiting the Hall of Fame to connect to his great career," commented Jason Aikens, the Hall of Fame's Collections Curator.
Sanders' football and helmet will be placed in a special exhibit devoted to the Class of 2011 inside the Hall's Moments, Memories & Mementos Gallery
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